Friday, December 18, 2009

Scrouge is a word!

I don't mean "scrooge" as in Ebenezer! Scrouge rhymes with gouge.
I think the first time my husband heard the word "scrouge" was in a conversation about Grits. We were at my, Alabama born, Mom's place and she asked if Grits was scrouging us. My Canadian husband had never heard the word so we immediately got into debate about it. Mom pulled out my Dad's old dictionary from his university days in Arkansas. Sure enough, right there in black and white was the word. Scrouge: to crowd, press or squeeze. Since then, I've looked in a number of Canadian dictionaries and can't find it. Even as I'm typing this I'm getting the dotted red line underneath the word indicating a spelling error.
We still joke about it, but if there's anyone who is an expert at scrouging it's Grits! Last night, since Bob was working, I decided to let Grits sleep on my bed with me. It's hard to believe a 20 pound dog could just about scrouge me right off my king size bed, but that's exactly what happened. All night he was right up against me. If I moved an inch, he followed. At one point, I'm sure he was pushing me with all 4 paws. Maybe he thought he would like the bed all to himself. Who knows!
One thing I do know is that "scrouge" is definitely a word... in our house at least!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mom's Bad Morning

This morning was not a good one for Grit's Mom. Yes, that's me. I refer to myself as his "Mom" even though I don't refer to Grits as my son, child or furchild. That would be weird!
I woke up this morning feeling, more than usual, like I should just stay in bed. Staying up late to watch SNL's Christmas special might not have been the best idea after all... but it was funny.
My husband and I had a plan to drop Gritsy off at Dogsville (doggie daycare for those of you who don't know), then I would meet Bob at the Suzuki dealership where we would drop off my SX4 for service and then Bob would drive me to work. Grits needed to go to daycare because Bob is working 9pm to 7am tonight and would need to have a nap this afternoon without our sometimes demanding dog bothering him.
I had my travel mug filled with home made coffee (Serious Coffee of course!) plus my lunch, a snack for Gritsy's lunch and my purse. Bob had put Grits in the kennel in backseat and as I normally do, I put my travel mug on the roof of the car while I got organized. Then I hopped in and backed out of the garage. Right away I noticed a clunking noise when I drove over the deep ruts in the hard packed snow on our street. It sounded to me like I had left the hatch in the back open. So I stopped and checked the back door and the dog's kennel. The snow and ice everywhere is starting to melt so when I noticed some muddy liquid running down the windshield I didn't think anything of it. I was glad we were taking the car in for service, because if the noise didn't stop we could tell Suzuki about it. But it was probably a hunk of ice or a rock in my wheel well. So off I went. Once I got a couple of blocks from our house I noticed the noise again and looked in my rear view mirror to see what appeared to by my travel mug bouncing away from me down the road. It's a good thing there was no one right behind me as that stainless steel mug might have smashed someone's windshield!
I looked down at my empty cup holder and said to Grits, "Ah... that's what the noise was!" and drove on. Any other day, I probably would have stopped but as you can tell, I wasn't really with it this morning. I hadn't had my coffee yet! Luckily there's a Starbucks on the way!
We made it to Dogsville in one piece and I told Marian my story, but in the process forgot to hand over Grits' snack. It's not the first time I've done that this week either.
When I saw Bob at the dealership he said he would take the kibble to Dogsville. He did and Grits, who had already been giving Marian dirty looks by this time, was VERY happy to see the food... and Bob as well.
Later Bob called me to tell me he had been back home and saw that our snowy streets had been plowed. Long gone (until spring anyhow) was my coffee mug thanks to the extra $2 million our mayor had arranged from the "rainy day fund" for snow removal on side streets.
I'm not really sure what I've learned from all of this and if Grits had anything to do with it. Perhaps some days it's better to just stay in bed... or I should NEVER stay up past 10pm... or I should ask Santa for a new travel mug... or I should NEVER forget food for the dog... or I should just shake it off and get on with my day.
The last one I think... that's what Grits would do!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Our Apologies...

Grits and I have to apologize for not writing much lately. To be honest, we didn't think anyone was reading, apart from my sister and the girls at Dogsville. Thanks Patty!
This weekend we watched the movie, Julie & Julia. Grits slept through most of it, but I really enjoyed it and was inspired to check my blog to see if anyone had commented. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had received my first ever comment outside of facebook. Thanks Jerr!
Grits and I really would enjoy seeing more comments from our readers, and I'm going to try to write more often (and take some better pics) and not let life's distractions get in the way...

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Halloween is very stressful for our security specialist, Grits. All night he sits looking out the front door window, ears perked up waiting for the next intruders to arrive or up in the office window barking at everyone walking down the street. As far as he's concerned we shouldn't be letting all these kids in their crazy costumes come bang on our door. It's just a bad idea! Thanks to Gritsy's efforts all the evil doers stayed away and today he is exhausted after being on guard well past his unofficial bedtime of 7 pm. I'm glad we only had 35 kids come round and we are safe... until next year that is!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Onyx is Grits' girlfriend...

Onyx is Grits' girlfriend... well in his dreams she is! About once a week or so we run in to our neighbour's walking their beautiful American Eskimo dog (Photo of Dog similar to Onyx). She always shows up perfectly groomed sporting her soft, bright white fur and a pink collar. Grits is a pretty good looking dog, but she makes him look scruffy by comparison. All Grits can do to try impress her is to run around in circles while tethered to his leash. He is fast, but this is literally getting him no where. She just moves out of the way, not even bothering to say hello, while she waits patiently for the humans have a quick chat. My husband suggested that if Grits could show her his big bone (beef bone that is), Gritsy might have a chance. If only he had pockets he could bring it along for the walk...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Be thankful for time with family and friends...

Grits most enjoys the days when we are all at home together! We sit by the fire, surf the web, go for walks, play, watch TV and of course nap. Even better is when his extended family comes to visit! This weekend Grandma (Bob's mom) came over for Thanksgiving brunch. We made waffles, sausages and Bob's special yummy potatoes while Grits enthusiastically enjoyed the same thing he eats everyday, his kibble and a carrot for dessert. Then we all sat around and enjoyed our coffee while Grits got a nice head/tummy rub squished between Bob and me on the couch. He really does have the best life and he reminds me that my life is pretty great too! And that we're lucky to be able to spend time with our family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


The other day, I got home from work and since it was starting to rain, I decided to take some beef barley soup out of the freezer to have for dinner. I went down to the furnace room, grabbed the container of frozen soup and then went back upstairs and started to watch Dr Phil or Oprah. About a half hour later, I began to wonder where Grits was. I looked in the office first, but no Grits, then in the bedroom, the closet and the guest room. Still no Grits. Then the living room, kitchen and laundry room. Your starting to get the idea now. Finally, I checked back in the furnace room again and that's where Grits was... alone in the dark furnace room. Poor Grits! Once free, he quickly followed me up the stairs. I tried to pet him and tell him I was sorry, but he just turned to face me and barked at me when I tried to touch him. I'm pretty sure he was trying to tell me he was really mad at me!
I worried that he thought I had done it on purpose, or that he was being punished. It really bothered me that I couldn't explain it to him. By dinner time all was forgiven, but of course I felt guilty for the rest of the night. I wonder if he knows that's why he got to sleep in my bed...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sleep, Sleep and More Sleep...

The only one I know who enjoys sleeping as much as Grits is... well me. Unfortunately, I don't have that kind of time...
Here is how a typical day in Gritsy's world goes (when my husband and I are both working):
- Grits wakes up at about 6am, yawns, does a little yoga stretch (downward dog) or snarf (this is what we call rolling around with all four paws in the air) on the floor, shakes his head making noise with his floppy ears to be sure that everyone knows he's awake
- Once one of us gets up, he follows us (for some reason we have to go with him, or he'll come back in before he goes) out to the back yard for a pee, then breakfast (breakfast takes about 30 seconds)
- Next it's cuddles and naps on the couch while my husband watches sports highlights
- Once I'm dressed, by about 6:50, I stop by the TV room and give him a pat on the head on my way to the kitchen for my breakfast and to put my lunch together
- A few minutes later when he hears the crisper drawer open, he is down stairs like a shot, in hopes of getting his favorite snack, a baby carrot
- My husband and I both head off to work shortly after that so Grits sleeps for about 5 hours until I come home at noon.
- I wake him up at about 12:15 for another pee break in the back yard (our grass takes a beating) and a light lunch
- Two minutes later, I'm on my way back to the office
- I get home a about 4:15... so that's another 4 hours sleep, then or after dinner, weather permitting, we go for a walk (it's best when the whole pack goes)
- Gritsy usually hangs around watching us make dinner, hoping something will fall on the floor, or watches Oprah with me, or tries to get us to play with him
- Let's not to forget the stares, fussing, jumping up and down and sometimes whimpering that usually happens around dinner time which is at 6:30pm (we don't mean to be mean, but if we feed him earlier he'll wake us up earlier the following day)
- Then more doggin' it until about 7pm at which time he slips into a coma until about 9:30 or 10pm
- At this time one of us carries (yes carries) him downstairs for a drink and another piddle in the yard
- Then he gets a bit of a second wind and usually looks out the window or snoozes on the couch until husband is finished brushing his teeth and gets into bed
- Next thing we know, Grits is curled up on his designer Roots doggie bed at the foot of our bed for another 8 hours of sleep.
You can do the math yourself, but I count 20 hours of sleep per day.
So I guess what I've learned here is I need more sleep! I shouldn't feel guilty about napping! I should sleep as much as possible, for as long as possible, then when I'm awake I will have the energy to put 100% into whatever I'm doing! That's what Grits would do...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Don't Forget to Feed the Dog

For the first time in his short life, my dog Grits didn't fuss about his dinner. No, it's not that he's a fussy eater, far from it. He usually reminds us that it's his supper time by jumping up and down and whimpering or generally just staring at you until you remember to feed him.
For some strange reason last night he didn't and sure enough we forgot... until about eight in the evening. We finished our own dinner, then made some phone calls, then ran out to pick up a few things, then came back home. Grits was very happy to see us. No wonder, we are the ones with the thumbs after all. Then about half an hour later I was brushing my teeth after my snack of yummy cornbread with homemade cherry jam when I remembered. I asked my husband and he hadn't remembered either.
Poor Grits! We felt so guilty! I guess it'll be a while before we forget again!

Monday, August 10, 2009

How Many Words or Phrases Does Grits Know?

I just read an article on where University of British Columbia professor, Dr. Stanley Coren claimed that dogs can understand from 165-250 words. This is similar to the mental abilities of a 2.5 year old child. So I thought I'd see if I can think of all the words or phrases Grits knows and count them:
1. Grits
2. Mom
3. Dad
4. Breakfast
5. Dinner
6. Snack
7. Carrot
8. Wait
9. Sit
10. Stay
11. Let's Go
12. Hurry Up
13. Cheemo
14. Bone
15. Have a Drink
16. Turn Around
17. No
18. Leave it
20. Go See
21. No Bark
22. Magoo
23. Come On
24. Gritsy
25. Lay Down
26. Go to Sleep
27. Mr Squeaky
28. Ball
29. Toy
30. Down
31. Off
32. Go to Bed
33. Bud
34. Outside
35. Come
36. Good Boy
37. Hungry
38. Where's Mom?
39. Let's go see who it is
40. Your so smart
41. Who's the best puppy?
42. Marian
43. Patty
44. Len
45. Good Job
46. Get out of the kitchen!
47. Use the stairs
Okay, I give up. It was a struggle to come up with 47 phrases. I guess my dog is no genius... not even close.

Friday, August 7, 2009


We have email, facebook, twitter, cell phones, texting, and occasionally speaking face to face. I think dogs of have "pmail". Why else would they feel its important to pee on every corner. When we walk Grits he makes sure he leaves little messages all along the route in the form of pee, I think so that he can say to other dogs that come by, "Hey everyone, Grits was here!" At the same time, he can tell who was walking around the block just by sniffing a lamp post or edge of the path. It's crude, but effective... and it's all dog! I think I'll stick to email myself...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dogs Are Family

The other day, I read an article on about how dogs are becoming thought of as members of our families. It said this is shown by our choice of names for our modern day dogs: instead of Spot, Lady and Fido we are now naming our dogs Max, Molly and Jack.
I think popular names for pets follow trends the same way children's names do. While we like to name our dogs with traditional human names, there also seems to be a trend toward naming children with non-traditional human names such as Apple, Poppy and Rocket. Of course, these are celebrity kids names; Jacob and Emma still top the charts. But I'm guessing the rest of us will eventually follow.
According to Wikipedia, pugs were bred to adorn the laps of Chinese sovereigns before 400 BC and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was named because it was the children's pet in the house of Charles I. Evidence suggests that dogs began their road to domestication some 15,000 years ago. They have been working, living and playing with us for literally ages.
In the past it may have been common only for royals to enjoy the companionship of a dog as a family member. But as our standard of living has improved over the years, more and more families have been able to afford dogs and appreciate them as part of the family.
The media has had a hand in this as well. In the 1923 movie "Where the North Begins" Rin Tin Tin plays a wolf dog. The movie was credited with saving Warner Bros. from bankruptcy. In the 1957 movie "Old Yeller" a boy bonds with a golden mongrel and is heartbroken when he has to shoot the rabid dog. In the 1960 episode of Looney Tunes, called "Dog Gone People," Elmer Fudd cares for a dog named Rupert who expects to be treated like a human. The 1974 film Benji, one of my personal favorites, the hero not only has a human name, but helps the authorities nab kidnappers as well. The 1990's the hit comedy series "Mad About You" featured a lovable mutt named Murray. And, of course we can't forget Brian of "Family Guy" who sips martinis one minute and chases his tale the next.
I would say that my dog Grits most reminds me of Brian. He has a way of communicating with his eyes, sighs, growls, whines and barks, while being an expert at reading body language and recognizing routines then assigning meaning to them that is sometimes astounding to me. At the same time he is all dog and likes to chew on his bone, tear the stuffing out of his toys and sniff the butts of his four legged friends.
His name may not be traditional in any way. He may not be a related by blood or marriage. Technically he's not the child of this person or couple, but he is definitely family.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Drink More Water

Grits, of course being a dog, pretty much drinks water exclusively. Sure he likes to occasionally lick the top of a pop can that someone might have left sitting on the floor or on our deck.
One time, I left a tumbler of milk sitting on the coffee table: it must have held at least a cup; probably more like 12 ounces. It was one of those heavy wide glass ones that you would serve a highball in. Anyhow, I left the room for some reason, only to find upon my return, that my milk was mysteriously gone. The glass was exactly where I had left it and the only clue was my loving companion looking up at me as he licked his chops. Again, how can you be mad?
Still, I'm always impressed by how Grits always thinks to drink lots of water. After meals, after play, before bed. He even, if he knows we're going for a walk, will pre-hydrate before we leave the house. Good advice...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Home Security

Grits takes his job as home security specialist very seriously! For example, every Thursday morning he wakes up to find trash bags and recycling bins lining our street. So, just to be on the safe side, Grits sits in the window looking out at them and growling under his breath. This is just a warning: should one of them make a move towards the house he would go crazy and bark his head off. My husband and I are convinced Gritsy believes he scares the bags and bins away, because later in the day they're gone and therefore his work is done, 'til next week that is...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Grits' favourite charity is the Calgary Humane Society!
In 2006 he raised over $800 for the Dog Jog. Unfortunately, Grits isn't much of a jogger or walker for that matter and was unable to finish the jog without help from his 2 legged friends. Still he was happy to be included, as always.
If you are considering adopting a pet, please check out the link to the Calgary Humane Society. They have many great pets looking for a forever home... Here are just a few of the dogs.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Turn the other cheek...

Saturday night we were asked by our neighbors to come by for a back yard fire pit get together. They suggested we bring Grits along, so that's what we did. Now, Grits and their older dog Cheemo, another American Eskimo, are great old friends and often take turns peeing on either side of the fence as a way of saying "Hello". However our neighbors also have 2 younger dogs; both pocket sized maltese cockapoo crosses. As soon as we arrived one of the younger dogs, Lexy, went right after Grits and barked at him then gave him a couple of nips on the heels. I was impressed by the way Grits just turned away and stood still. Later, my nieghbor tried to introduce them again, and even though Lexy is about 1/3 of Grit's size, he exposed his tummy as if to say, "Okay, I get it, you're in charge around here!". For the rest of the night Grits sat in my lap or in that of my husband until we took him home early. I don't think he was really enjoying himself, not wanting to be where he wasn't wanted.
He could have snarled at Lexy or even worse bit her, but he chose to turn the other cheek. Way to go Gritsy!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Don't Leave Blue Markers Lying Around

I wish I had taken a photo last night of Gritsy and the devastation caused when he ate one of the blue coloring markers my great nieces left somewhere on the floor. We were visiting with some friends who, just adopted a newborn baby, and had walked over to say "Hi" when the incident occurred.

He didn't really eat it so much as chew it up into tiny pieces and spit it out. He managed to get blue ink, washable and non-toxic for kids luckily, all over the carpet plus bits of chewed up blue marker plastic. He ended up with a blue mouth and tongue too.

I guess the lesson here is not only to not leave blue markers lying around, but to make sure to pay a bit of attention to my dog when friends come to visit. At any rate, I got a good laugh out of it. Who could really be mad afterall?

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Sometimes it's nice just to sit close to a friend or loved one and not feel the urge to say anything at all.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Puppies and Toddlers

My dog Grits doesn't really care for puppies. He approaches them with an air of snobbery that indicates that he thinks they are a waste of his time. Perhaps he forgets that he was once a puppy too and needed to be taught just about everything about being a dog in a human world. That said, Grits always is patient and gentle with the puppies meets, putting up with their antics until they go on their way.

When we go to the park, we're stopped at least once on our journey by a small child or some parents with a toddler in tow. "Can I pet your dog?" or "Puppy, puppy!". We always stop and let the children give him a pet. The other day my niece came to visit with her 2 year old daughter. The little girl was fascinated by Grits and proceeded to hug him and pet him the way only a toddler can. When she pets a dog on the head he knows it. While he appeared a little shocked by the tiny hand slapping his head, he just sat there and took it.

Maybe he does remember after all or maybe dogs instinctively know more than we give them credit for...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

If possible always sleep next to a warm body who loves you...

Grits was taught as a puppy to sleep in a kennel. Then one day he decided he didn't want to sleep there anymore and so we would have battles every evening about it.

Finally, we gave up and decided to get him a big doggy bed that he could sleep on at the foot of our bed. This works pretty well usually, but once in a while I get sucked into letting him up on the bed.

This is great for him because he loves to sleep pushed up against a warm body. It's not so great for me, because with the constant scrouging (crowding, squeezing) I don't get much rest... but at the same time I like knowing that he's there beside me.

Monday, July 20, 2009

You don't have to like everyone...

My dog Grits has a crush on the girl dog next door. She just moved in a few months ago and is a beautiful, white, American Eskimo. Who could blame him. Last night Gritsy peed on the fence (you know... pmail) for her then ran laps around the yard to show her how speedy he is.

But he hates the dog across the street! Every time Grits sees him he barks his head off. Today my husband was pulling weeds in the front yard and the dog from across the road came over. Grits was in the house watching out the window and went nuts!

So I guess, you don't have to like everyone... even if your a dog.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Have Fun!

The thing I've learned from my dog today is to take a few minutes 2 or 3 times a day to have a little fun... Get some exercise... Play a little...

Even if you only have 10 minutes you can burn off some steam and have a laugh or two! Grits tries to have fun every day, even if he is under the weather.

This morning before I left for work he somehow communicated to me that I should chase him around the living room and play fetch a bit before I left for work.

I think it did us both good...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

First a little about Grits... the food.

My mother is from Alabama but we live in Canada so the only way we could get our hands on grits when I was a kid, was if my grandparents came to visit. This only happened once every couple of years so grits was a big deal.

For those of you who might not know, Grits is a corn based porridge common in the the southern United States. It's similar to polenta but is usually white instead of yellow as it's made from hominy corn.

Growing up we had Grits at breakfast with eggs and toast. The best way was with some butter and salt and pepper added. Shredded cheddar cheese is also really yummy!

Grits is a comfort food and give you a warm stick-to-your-ribs feeling inside...

What does all of this have to do with my dog?

We named our dog Grits because curled up he looks like grits on a plate and he is the best comfort food for my soul!